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Artist's statement

I am a visual artist and a painter. As years have gone by, the different places I have lived in and visited, their spaces and buildings, have become a profound source of inspiration for my art. The important thing about working with such material is how my perception interprets experience and what happens when I look at something.
 
The topography of the places of my childhood and youth - the streets of my neighborhood and the room plans of the places I have lived in - has nourished my work. The spaces that emerge in my paintings are either real places or interiors of the mind. A real space may be, say, a shed drawn in lines or some kind of a structure, for example a staircase. The world of the mind, on the other hand, is framed by a drawn arch. This is how I indicate the space and place of the human being in my paintings. The problematic and meaning of my work consist both of my perceptions from the work context and my interpretations of the history of art. I seek similarities among the built environment, buildings of different periods, and the creative output of my work, or I paint to build a bridge between the Renaissance and a grid plan, for example. For me it makes sense to apply material based on facts to the moments of painting.
 
During painting, facts and theories stay at the background and the canvas is open for the things happening in the painting situation. I let the image take shape free of conscious interpretation. I let different sensory perceptions form meanings. They constitute the base on which art research and theories are built. A painting is born in the spontaneity of emotion, a state in which consciousness is far away but understanding is deep. The final form and the shades of colors pop out during the painting process. All that happens during the process is part of the grammar of my painting: color on color, extruding color, wiping out color, conceptual jam, looking, composing and striving for problem solving. In my paintings I combine, in a creative and innovative way, traditional mediums such as egg tempera and oil color on canvas or board with less traditional materials such as industrial paints and planks. My paintings are born both spontaneously and through carefully thought color definitions. A painting has its starting point, and a painting is an interpretation of the environment, inner and outer alike. What a painting gives is a chance to come home; it is a way to enhance understanding of human reality.
 
The focus of my painting may be a table, a chair, a cellar, an attic, a wall, a door, a window, a closet or a social space.
In my coloristic paintings there often are hieroglyph-like elements rendered in only a few strokes that create an impression of a room, a place where social life unfolds. An expressive charge of color, line and drawing is characteristic to my paintings.
 
 
Besides painting, I also use other methods leading to problem solving. I use different kinds of things and objects. I collect things I have found or I buy an object that is visually interesting. I break the object and start to re-build it by new means. I combine materials of different qualities and make experiments. A three-dimensional work reveals my personal way of expression much in the same way as a painting and is always an interpretation of the theme I am working with. Sometimes I make environmental works. They are typically site-specific, but they are also often placed in different kinds of environments in a new appearance.
 
I have enjoyed an active exhibition history since the beginning of 1990s with both solo and group exhibitions annually. I have also exhibited in Sweden, Germany and France. My work is featured in a number of public collections, among them the collections of the Cities of Porvoo, Lahti and Orimattila, the Wihuri Foundations and the Finnish State Art Collections. In 2007 I made a painting consisting of ten parts for Porvoo Central School's dining room, and in 2008 I was awarded the honorary mention in the Porvoo Hospital Mural Competition.
 
I work actively in local cultural endeavors and in national art organizations.
 
I have been painting icons since 2002 when an icon painting circle was started under the auspices of the Orthodox Church of Porvoo and I was invited to join in. The icons, the Byzantine culture and the old Christian painting tradition are more than hobbies for me: they are a source of learning and spiritual growth.
 
I paint icons both independently and in an icon painting circle in Helsinki. When painting an icon, I rejoice in the privilege of being able to spend some moments with the Holy person portrayed in the icon. The icons I have painted end up at homes where they have places and functions of their own.